Above: Barbados (CJ Photo)
By the Caribbean Journal staff
Barbados tourism broke a 25-year record in the first quarter of 2015, according to the Barbados Tourism Marketing, Inc.
The island received 171,471 stayover arrivals in the first quarter, a 15.1 percent increase over the first quarter last year, the highest performance of any comparative period in 25 years.
“This was a very strong winter season,” said BTMI Chairman Alvin Jemmott. “The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) has predicted a five per cent increase in long stay arrivals for the region for the entire year and we believe our performance in this first quarter bodes well for us to comfortably exceed that target.”
The growth was driven by particularly strong growth from the United States and Canadian markets, which improved by 27.7 percent and 28.4 percent, respectively, compared to the first quarter of 2014.
“I am pleased to say that we have begun the process of updating a number of critical polices in the areas of human resources, marketing and finance in keeping with our commitment to increasing employee engagement and productivity; maximizing our return on marketing investment, and achieving greater levels of fiscal prudence,” said William Griffith, CEO of the BTMI.
Griffith said the island’s airlift capacity for May-October was also slated to rise by 3.6 percent, driven by additional flights and larger aircraft.